Release of personal data after 92 years

Access to historical census records has been a matter of public discussion for many years, and has spurred considerable interest on the part of genealogists, historians and archivists.

In 2005, following extensive consultation with Canadians, the Government of Canada amended the Statistics Act to eliminate ambiguities concerning the confidentiality status of past historical census records, while at the same time providing for the release of future census records.

The Statistics Act amended in 2005 allows for the release of historical census records from 1911 to 2001, 92 years after the census collection (meaning, for instance, that census records from 2001 will be released in 2093).

Equally important, since the 2006 Census, Canadians have had the choice to decide if they want their census records released to the public after 92 years.

The consent question used in the 2016 Census provides each person with the opportunity to make an informed decision about what happens to his or her personal census information in 92 years. Consenting to the release of census information will help future generations better understand the Canada of today, and will benefit historical, academic and genealogical research. If consent is not given, then personal information will remain confidential in perpetuity.

How can I change or verify my response to the 92-year consent question?

To change your response

If you wish to change your response to the consent question on the 2006, 2011 or 2016 Census of Population questionnaire, complete and return a Request for change: Release of personal census data: HTML or PDF (21 kb).

Note: A separate request must be submitted for each member of the household who wishes to change his or her response to the consent question for the census year selected on the form.

To verify your response

If you wish to verify your response to the consent question on the 2006, 2011 or 2016 Census of Population questionnaire, complete and return a Request for verification: Release of personal census data: HTML or PDF (13 kb).

Note: A separate request must be submitted for each member of the household who wishes to verify his or her response to the consent question for the census year selected on the form.

See also

Change or verify your response to the consent question on a National Household Survey questionnaire.

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